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Carrot Fluff and the Leopard Print Evening Gown

PUBS have this week been told to stop serving "carrot fluff" to their customers and instead go back to good old-fashioned pub grub like bangers and mash. The hefty dollop of criticism came from "The Good Pub Guide" which decreed drinkers were being put off by baffling and pretentious menus.

"We don't want our dishes adorned with carrot fluff, edible sand or fish foam, leave that to the swanky restaurants", the Guide scolded. This Reporter reassures readers they won't find any carrot fluff in this week's news and style round-up. And yes she is using the food stuff as a metaphor. As always there will be plenty of those though, and a leopard print evening gown.

We kick off with the news two Russian military intelligence officers were behind the novichok poisonings in Salisbury -  with more than a suggestion the order of command came from top brass himself Vladimir Putin. Though he denies it, of course.

The "Perfume Poisoners" as This Reporter has taken to calling them, owing to the juicy detail the nerve agent was concealed in a bottle of Nina Ricci Premier Jour, have been named by British Police as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov (but as in all good spy films - these are believed to be aliases).

This Reporter comments, who needs the telly, and yet, as ever, she has a theory - that the rumours the next James Bond film had been postponed were merely to throw us. Instead we are, as we speak, being treated to a new interactive James Bond experience. We are living - in manner of Truman Show - through it. Well we did all moan that the franchise needed to move with the times.

Showing next are the latest Brexit shenanigans and there appears to be a bit of a flap over a yellowhammer being spotted through the long lens of an eagle-eyed photographer. Sadly we are not talking about the small yellow bird of ornithology, but "Yellowhammer" the code name for the No Deal government economic strategy, carelessly toted around under the arm of a politician, who obviously hadn't heard of a FOOLScap folder.

As to the contents, well Chancellor Philip Hammond was more than morose to brief us, saying that in short a No Deal Brexit would have a dire effect on all government departments, leaving them scrabbling around for cash, which is more chicken than yellowhammer surely, but a good sight better than ostrich. Either way its got a suicide vest strapped to its feathery breast if you're foolish enough to consult Boris "serial philanderer" Johnson.

Though to be clear, "Mr" Johnson wasn't talking about strapping the explosive to one "insignificant" dicky bird. He was declaring if Prime Minister Theresa May went ahead with her Chequer's Brexit plan, it was - in metaphor land - the equivalent of strapping a suicide vest to the whole blasted country. K-Boom.

In terms of the current chances of securing a deal with the EU - well on basis a lot still hinges on sorting out the Irish border and the new Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley has admitted what she knows about Irish politics could be written on a postage stamp, This Reporter would say those chances are looking decidedly slim.

Ireland's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan meanwhile has advised Mrs May, to ditch the "three stooges" aforementioned Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg and Nigel Farage, if she's ever going to make a success of Brexit. Looks like the letter must have got diverted in the post however and made its way to Boris' wife instead. In divvying up blame, This Reporter plants it squarely on Ms Bradley's badly annotated postage stamp.

If the Labour party was a food what would it be? That was the vital question posed to a group of "swing voters" who declared these days the party was far less Bingo, pint and a casserole and more quinoa and student protest. Lib Dem then, This Reporter muses in a puzzled manner.

Tony Blair - remember him - who if we take the food poll as red, was the purveyor of the pint and the Bingo card (there's something gone wrong here somewhere) has declared this week the Labour party could never be brought back from Jeremy Corbyn's leftist extremism and what was needed was a new centrist party to fill the void.

If only there was someone who could, successfully, spearhead this movement, and oh, This Reporter doesn't know for sure, but perhaps call it "New New Labour". You've got a rival though Tone, in the form of Chuka Ummuna who lashed out at his leader this week for attempting to cleanse his party of all MPs who oppose him.

Or, to direct quote him; "Call off your dogs, Corbo". Cue a week-long debate over whether uttering the phase was tantamount to calling people "dogs" and if in the affirmative, whether it was right for an upstanding Member of Parliament to do so. Readers, what will all this come to?

Meanwhile, the fashion world is fair roaring with the leopard print trend - indeed all animal print appears to be acceptable - zebra and snake skin, crocodile - weasel. And This Reporter has found the most perfect leopard print dress, which she thought we could wear to pick up our best supporting actor award at the next BAFTA's ceremony, for simply bearing this crazy political side show, without corpsing.

Admittedly, this dress by Adriana Degreas is meant to be a beach cover-up/robe but This Reporter can't begin to imagine what sort of beach it would have to be for this to be fitting - no doubt one with carrot fluff and edible sand.

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